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Mood Swing
John Garrity
February 05, 2001
A peak performance by Mark Calcavecchia at a low moment in his life seemed apt at a Phoenix Open that was also trying to change
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February 05, 2001

Mood Swing

A peak performance by Mark Calcavecchia at a low moment in his life seemed apt at a Phoenix Open that was also trying to change

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Unfortunately, most of the star golfers played as if they were the target of the crackdown, not the fans. Six of the vaunted top 16 money winners missed the 36-hole cut, including David Duval, Ernie Els, Justin Leonard and Arizona State grad and local favorite Phil Mickelson. Of the surviving stars, only four (Woods, defending champ Tom Lehman, Stewart Cink and David Toms) finished within 17 strokes of Calcavecchia. Tiger, who shot opening and closing rounds of 65 to tie for fifth, labored in Phoenix. His second-round 73 ended a record streak of 52 Tour rounds of par or better dating back to last May's Byron Nelson Classic. "It was a good streak," Woods said, and golf historians may someday see it as much better than good, the equal, maybe, of Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. The previous record, after all, was 29, by Nolan Henke in 1991, and the only other player to do better—Mickelson—saw
his own streak of 31 end last Friday in Phoenix. Furthermore, Tiger's par-or-better streak was actually 62, if you count his stroke-play rounds in non-Tour events, which he does.

In any case the numbers last week belonged not to Woods, but to Calcavecchia, who is famous for firing at flagsticks when he's on his game. In Scottsdale his trademark high fades soared 300 yards off the tees; his iron shots landed like butterflies; his putts rattled home as if they were guided by a hidden hand—or, if you will, a Tom Byrum putter. "Calc is at the top of the list of guys who can shoot low," said Mediate. "He and Huston, they can both go nuts."

The last putt Calcavecchia made on Sunday, a 2�-footer for par on the 72nd hole, rode around the rim before dropping. Still to fall is the other shoe—the fate of his marriage. His daughter, Britney, 11, and son, Eric, 7, ran onto the green to hug him, and Mark got a kiss from his mother, Marjorie, who had flown in from Florida for the tournament. But there was no sign of Sheryl, who first met the young Calcavecchia in January 1987 at, you guessed it, the Phoenix Open.

Sometimes, as James Taylor sings, "It's enough to cover ground." That's as far as you can control it.

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